A Trump Voter Is Likely Losing Her Husband To Deportation
Helen Beristain is having a bit of voter’s remorse. The Indianan was all in on her vote for President Trump back in November. Now, her undocumented husband, Roberto, who owns a restaurant in northern Indiana, is up for deportation and she can’t believe it.
Roberto Beristain is facing deportation from the U.S. and his wife Helen, who voted for President Trump, can’t believe it.
— TrumpNewsGOP (@TrumpNewssGOP) March 24, 2017
“Trump did say the good people would not be deported, the good people would be checked,” Helen Beristain told Indiana Public Media. Helen Beristain admitted to IPM that she voted for Trump specifically because she agreed with his hard line stance on illegal immigration.
According to WTIU, Roberto’s detention took place in February during a check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Indianapolis.
Since its inception in 2003, the National Fugitive Operations Program (NFOP) has arrested more than 350,000 removable aliens. The NFOP provides policy direction, strategic planning, and operational oversight for ERO’s efforts to locate, arrest, and reduce the population of at-large removable aliens within the U.S.
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Roberto, who entered the U.S. illegally in 1998, was detained by immigration officials during his check-in due to an incident that took place in 2000. Helen and Roberto were on a road trip to Niagara Falls when, according to WTIU, they accidentally crossed into Canada. Roberto was detained in Canada because he did not have the proper documentation.
ICE gave WTIU a statement about Roberto’s case. They said he was given a voluntary departure date after he accidentally crossed into Canada without proper documentation, which he ignored.
Helen Beristain was pregnant at the time and instead of following the voluntary departure order, he chose to stay in the U.S. to be with his wife and growing family. That decision would ultimately lead the family to the problems they are facing today. With the detention of Roberto in Konesha, Wis., the family is struggling to maintain Eddies Steak Shed, a restaurant owned by the Granger, Indiana resident.
Roberto’s family is trying everything they can to keep him in the country, including a petition on change.org.
— HuffPost Politics (@HuffPostPol) March 24, 2017
“Roberto has been married to Helen for 17 years and they have 3 children. Maria (15), Jasmine (14) and Demetri (8) all U.S. citizens. He also has a stepson, Phil Kolliopoulos (wife Ashley), and is a (step) grandfather to Kolten Kolliopoulos,” Roberto’s stepson, Phil Kolliopoulos, wrote on the petition. “Roberto has always been a family oriented father. Trying to explain to the kids why this is happening to their father is not an easy thing to do.”
The community, including the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, have come to support Roberto to save him from deportation.
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, whose city is in the same county as Granger, calls Roberto Beristain a “model resident” pic.twitter.com/tc3lUvFven
— Mark I Williams M.D. (@CameraGuyBakoCA) March 23, 2017
“Meeting with his family and friends at his business, Eddie’s Steak Shed, in the town of Granger, I am struck by many things: the tenderness of his wife’s love for him, the innocence of his four American children (especially the teenage daughters who are now being taunted at school over his case), the loyalty of his 20 employees, and the pride and affection of his gathered friends and acquaintances as they rally to show their support,” Mayor Pete Buttigieg told Indiana Public Media.
Mayor Buttigieg continued: “But most striking of all is how many of the people now sticking up for Roberto are politically conservative. These are small-town Indiana residents, veterans and grandparents who come to his restaurant after Mass or Rotary. They vigorously defend him as a man they are proud to call a friend. And the more I think about it, the more clearly it is consistent with their conservative values that they stand up for Roberto.”